Lack of transparency in city government
In the Sept. 15 Ormond Beach Observer article on impact fees, commissioner Dwight Selby commented on western growth and the impending impact of Avalon Park Daytona. He said, “We’re going to be wholesaling our water and sewer services to them.”
Citizens have no idea when the City Commission made this decision, or at what public meeting. Why are we selling Ormond Beach water and sewer services to Daytona Beach to enable the Avalon Park mega-development, and building a second sewer plant to provide those services?
This impactful decision is the latest in a series of similar city commission actions taken with little or no public input.
Here are nine other major decisions without citizen input to round out the top ten:
- Annexation of Plantation Oaks
- Closing of River Bend Golf Course
- Extending the airport runway
- $440,000 for a transportation consultant
- $340,000 for outside legal counsel to challenge River Bend tax bill ($271,000)
- Abolishing the city’s strict land development wetland rules
- New redesign and reconstruction of Granada Boulevard
- New redesign and reconstruction of Ocean Shore Boulevard
- Purchase and demolition of Ormond Union Church
Additionally, waivers and exemptions for large “planned business developments” are negotiated by staff long before the public hearing process begins.
In theory, government transparency is guaranteed under the Sunshine Law in the Sunshine State.
It appears Ormond Beach elected officials believe they are smarter than the people they represent, leaving citizens in the dark while making final decisions for them, not with them.
Editor's note: During an OB Life meeting in December 2021, city staff reported that the Avalon Park project would move forward whether the city provided utilities or not. If the city is unable or unwilling to serve as the utility provider, the city of Daytona Beach will serve as the utility provider. Additionally, the redesign and reconstruction projects of West Granada Boulevard and Ocean Shore Boulevard are FDOT projects.
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